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Replacing A Cylinder-Style Lockset

A Lock For Your Privacy
Cylinder-style locksets are in almost every home and are the type that have no deadbolt attached and have either a handle-mounted push-button or twist lever lock on the interior knob. While they shouldn’t be considered adequate protection for entrance doors, they are perfectly suited to address simple privacy needs, such as one might require for a bedroom or bathroom. Sometimes they need to be replaced because they simply get old and fail, you lose your key or you want to change the lockset’s look. If you are looking for a lock with a little more ooommph! check out our section on deadbolt locks.

Installing A Lockset Of The Same Size Is Easy
When installing the same style lockset as the old, the job is simple. When installing a lockset of a different style or size, you may need to do some maneuvering to get it to fit right, including adjusting the depth of the mortise (see items 2 and 3 under For a faulty latch).

Installing A Different Size Lockset
If the size and style are quite different from the lockset you’re replacing, you might need to do some woodworking on your door before you make the installation. Depending on the new lockset, this could include enlarging the existing holes or, if the new lockset is smaller than the old, filling in gaps with wood putty, and then sanding and refinishing the door before you install the lockset. If this sort of project seems beyond your scope, you might want to hire a handyperson to do it for you. If the door in question is in need of work itself, you may want to opt to use this as an excuse to replace it.

Buying A Replacement Door
When buying a replacement door, take the lockset with you to the lumber or home improvement store and see if they can install it for you. Take measurements of the placement of the old lockset (or take in the old door, if possible). Even still, you may need to do some work on the mortise to the get the new striker plate to line up with the new latch. If you’re converting a cylinder-style lockset to a tubular style, you’ll need to pick up a kit at your home improvement center to make your mortise compatible with the new style.

Removing The Old And In With The New
Once you have your new lockset picked out and your door and mortise are ready to go, here’s how to remove the old lock and install the new one:

1. Along the shank or stem of the interior knob is a tiny release. Insert a nail or small screwdriver into the slot to free the knob. Remove the knob’s vanity plate (called the "rose") by simply lifting it off or prying it free if it has been glued down or stuck to the door paint.
2. Remove the mounting plate screws and pull off the plate, then remove the exterior knob and cylinder. Next remove the faceplate and latch on the door and the striker plate on the door frame (or opposite door).
3. On the exterior side, install the replacement latch assembly. Next install the faceplate. Gently guide the exterior knob and cylinder through the hole until the cylinder engages with the latch assembly.
4. Next attach the interior knob by installing the mounting plate to the protruding cylinder. Install the interior rose and knob and then the new striker plate. Test the latch in the striker plate to make sure the depth and position are right. If you need to make any adjustments to the striker plate or to the mortise behind it, please see our section: Latch And Lock Maintenance.
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